5 Career Ruts and How to Dig Out

On March 3, 2015, in Career Insight, by Walker News

So often I talk with people that tell me they have not been happy in their career for many years. They have learned to cope with a job that doesn’t excite them. It’s great to have developed a skill that enables you to manage difficulties in job duties or to cope with poor leaderships. However, if this has become a way of job survival, then you may be caught in web that you have created. You may be searching on company websites for openings, but the thought of leaving your current position can sometimes be overwhelming!

At times, we can get stuck in a rut.  It’s like being on a road trip that will take you days to get to your dream destination. You stop at a small country town to grab a quick bite, but while you are there, an unexpected snowstorm comes along and you are paralyzed and can go no farther.  In fact, a day later as the weather breaks, you are tempted to stay and make the best of it.  But, you decide to give it a try one more time, only to find that you have followed the storm and find yourself stuck again. Little did you know that if you had driven North you would have gotten to your dream destination!

As you are driving your career, you may find that you run into what I call “career ruts.” Here are five career ruts that many of us have had to overcome.

The 5 career ruts to avoid at all costs:

“I have no other choice.” Believe it or not, you often have other choices about what your career can become. “What else can I do?” It’s a question that deserves an answer.  It could be that you are in the right career market but you need to change your focus or find a compatible culture.  Remember to say in an interview, “I have transferable skills.” It’s important that you understand what they are and how to market them. Talking with others in the market you would like to focus on is a sure way of helping you understand what skills you have or what skills you should develop.

“I can’t change…not really.” Believe it or not, people can reinvent themselves. Learning to articulate your strengths as a person and not talk so much about your past jobs can open up other doors you never knew existed. Get friends to help you brainstorm. Focus on personal strengths. You might discover a new job possibility you never knew existed.

“What I want isn’t the point…it’s all about what they want.” Believe it or not, what you really want in a career is important. Here is an example of someone caught in what I call a “broken career cycle.” An applicant whom I will call “Sally” takes a job just to pay bills, but instead of continuing her career search, she tries to make the job tolerable.  She soon finds herself arriving late at work, failing to cover the details of the job, and soon finds management at the door because of her poor performance.  Soon she’s let go. Her career “red flag” finally goes up and Sally frantically seeks another job…any job. In this story, Sally is reacting instead of responding and as a result she finds herself running away, jumping into just another job, and not giving any thought to what could be her career dream.

“Finding my dream job is just a matter of luck…and I’ve never been lucky.” Believe it or not, a systematic exploration of career choices can open up other options, including truly unexpected ones.  You will be surprised to find that others will help you along the way. Don’t stop with talking to one or two individuals and think that you have enough information about a particular job market.  Be systematic in your approach and allow the information to intrigue and inspire you by asking for and getting clarifying answers. Remember that knowledge will empower you.

“I’m too old and I’ve been in this line of work too long to think about changing now.” Believe it or not, you are not too old and it’s not too late to change.  This rut can lead you to permanent paralysis. There is life after 55 and even 65!  So many people are now finding fulfillment in their careers as they reach retirement age. Many find careers that give them chances to continue to make a little money while still giving back to others and their communities. I know of one individual who finished up her education at age 57 and now has a new lease on life.  She is excited about what she can do with the second chapter of her life! As long as you have a career, it’s never too late to change the direction of it.

 

About the Author:david hults-2014

David Hults is a nationally known career coach and speaker, as well as a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Webster University where he also completed graduate courses toward his MBA. Since 1987, Hults is the author of five books, a CD coaching series and has created the most sought after interview flash card set, which makes the interview simplified and painless. His experience in human resources led him to work for Express Scripts, a Fortune 500 company, as well as one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, BJC. He has been coaching individuals for more than 20 years on how to break through individual roadblocks while also delivering speeches across the nation discussing how to manage change in careers and organizations today. For more information, visit his website at http://activ8careers.com

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grouppic3 Walker School of Business and Technology faculty and students attended the 54th Annual American Marketing Association Conference  at the St. Louis Zoo on Friday, February 20, 2015.

The conference, sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the American Marketing Association was attended by Dr. David J. Brennan, Professor of Marketing, Dr. Eric Rhiney, Assistant Professor of Marketing, and Dr. Donna Cartwright, Adjunct Professor of Marketing and 7 senior students

The theme of the conference was “Exploring the Future of Marketing” and featured presentations by several regional marketing professionals with the keynote presentation by David Leavitt, Vice President of Marketing for Hostess Brands. These professionals emphasized the knowledge and skills that graduating marketing students would need to be successful in career positions in the marketing field.  In the afternoon the conference offered a visit and tour of several St. Louis advertising agencies including Atomic Dust, TOKY and CIC-St. Louis

gary picGary Yearout, a graduating senior in marketing, was recognized as the Outstanding Undergraduate Marketing Student from Webster University for 2014/15.  This award was given for his superior academic achievements in the undergraduate marketing program at Webster University.

Gary will complete his Bachelor of Arts in Management with an Emphasis in Marketing and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship in May 2015.  Gary was selected as Webster’s Outstanding Undergraduate Marketing Student due to his high academic achievements, including an overall high GPA, excellent grades in his Marketing courses and multiple Dean’s List honors.   As a complement to his degree he has been working in a marketing position with a local St. Louis legal firm since November 2014.

Gary was also nominated for the Gerald Koetting Memorial Student Scholarship award in recognition of his accomplishments. He is an outstanding marketing student with proven academic excellence and work experience. We congratulate Gary and wish him all the best in his marketing career. 

What is a “Special Report?”

A Special Report is a few pages describing some simple, but essential how-to information.  Whatever your profession, you have some wisdom about how to make things run smoother, better, easier, more profitably, etc. It doesn’t have to be rocket science.

Consider Steven Covey’s million-copy best selling book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”  There’s no rocket science in that book.  Covey recommends things like:  “Be Proactive” and “Begin with the End in Mind.”  These are simple ideas that work and made him millions of dollars.  A special report reminds the reader of simple but important ways to improve things and create substantial value.

A Special Report works better than a resume for several reasons:

1) It Emphasizes Contribution – Unlike a resume (which screams, “I want a job!”,) it emphasizes your ability to contribute to, not take from, the contact.  Instead of being distracted by your job-hunting needs, contacts will focus on their own businesses and the ideas you present to help them make or save money.

2)  Positioning – Expert Achievements in a resume can give credibility, but most people discount resumes.  Job hunters often inflate responsibilities, hide failures, exaggerate results, and otherwise distort their record.   A resume positions you as a job hunter, and the resume reader uses a magnifying glass to uncover flaws, gaps, and cover-ups.

A well-thought-out Special Report immediately positions you as accomplished in a different way.  You’re speaking industry language and you’re communicating information that produces results.  The fact that you can compose such a piece, gives you more credibility than a resume (Unlike the Special Report, any resume service can write a resume for you.)

3)  Interesting New Format – The Special Report is different and more interesting, but isn’t an
unprofessional novelty like Day-Glo orange resume paper.  The format is compelling, and people remember receiving it, even if they don’t read it!

4)  Substantive Value – Special Reports give money-making or time-saving information.  As we’ve said, they don’t have to be blockbuster ideas, just common sense that works.

A resume focuses on the past, while a Special Report can focus on the future, on specific benefits the reader can reap—now and next year!

When do you use the special report?  It obvious that if you are applying for a job you want to use your well crafted and edited resume. But when you are networking and holding a networking meeting you will find it more effective if you spend less time going through your employment history and handing them a resume. Talk about where you would like to go and ask questions to find out more about the roles, companies and become a fact finder rather than a job seeker. Use the Special Report as a leave behind, something of value they might be able to use or share with others. You will be seen as a problem solver and a valuable asset for any company.

Special Reports are generally used by those who have several years of experience in their field.  If you’ve run an MIS department, a warehouse, or a restaurant for many years, you know tips and techniques that can make the difference between success and failure.

 

About the Author: david hults-2014

David Hults is a nationally known career coach and speaker, as well as a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Webster University where he also completed graduate courses toward his MBA. Since 1987, Hults is the author of five books, a CD coaching series and has created the most sought after interview flash card set, which makes the interview simplified and painless. His experience in human resources led him to work for Express Scripts, a Fortune 500 company, as well as one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, BJC. He has been coaching individuals for more than 20 years on how to break through individual roadblocks while also delivering speeches across the nation discussing how to manage change in careers and organizations today. For more information, visit his website at http://activ8careers.com

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Congratulations to two Walker School of Business & Technology faculty, Dr. Ece Tuncel and Dr. Doug O’Bannon,  who were awarded Faculty Research Grants for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Faculty Research Grant supported by the Webster University office of Academic Affairs promotes faculty scholarship, professional development and academic excellence. 22 faculty recipients were selected from across the university.

Julian Schuster, provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer stated “Faculty scholarship and creative endeavors are foundational to our reputation as a globally innovative institution, support student-centeredness through collaborative faculty/student projects, demonstrate academic excellence, and are a part of strengthening partnerships locally and globally to ensure we achieve strategic and sustainable development.”

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Dr. Ece Tuncel, Assistant Professor of Management, has been awarded a Faculty Research Grant to support her research on Gender Differences in the Processing of Performance Feedback.

 

doug-obannon-2013

Dr. Doug O’Bannon, Professor of Management, has been awarded a Faculty Research Grant to support his research on An Empirical Study of Chess Skills and Critical Thinking.

 

 

“This grant is a testimony to the excellent professional and academic achievements of our faculty.” said Benjamin Akande, Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.

 

 

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Speaker Series Event – “Ensuring Relevancy”

On January 7, 2015, in Speakers, by Walker News

Join us on Wednesday, January 28 from 5-7 p.m. for a panel discussion featuring Chuck Feltz, senior partner and president of global products group of Korn Ferry, and Todd Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer of Schnuck Markets, Inc.  During this event, Feltz and Schnuck will share experiences from industry leaders and offer insights on how organizations can remain relevant to their consumers and industries.

“Ensuring Relevancy”
Wednesday, January 28

Networking Reception from 5 -6 p.m.
Panel Discussion from 6-7 p.m.
Webster University’s East Academic Building, Room 102
545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119
RSVP to attend this free event.

If you are unable to attend, a recording of the presentation will be made available on the Walker School’s website a few weeks after the event.

About the Panelists

Chuck Feltz has been a C-level executive leader of five companies, ranging in size and scope from an international startup to a $1 billion Fortune 500 organization. He served as president and COO of Lifetouch National School Studios, where he led his team to establish a successful new strategic direction and brand-repositioning strategy driven by digital technology changes.

As president of Deluxe Corporation’s Deluxe Financial Services, he and his team successfully repositioned this $800 million business by developing an innovative business-to-business vision and strategy and drove record profitability. He also took over responsibility as president for Direct Checks Unlimited, a $300 million direct-to-consumer business.

Previously, he was president and CEO of Deluxe Government Services, guiding a turnaround of this government electronic benefits delivery business, and president of Deluxe-HCL, where he led the startup of an international business process outsourcing company in New Delhi.

His innovative business-to-business strategic work has been featured in industry press and business books. He is a regular lecturer at several graduate schools of business and has been featured as a speaker at numerous business conferences, including the American Marketing Association, Brand Manage Camp, and the Conference Board in New York.

He is the co-author of the book, Never By Chance: Aligning People and Strategy Through Intentional Leadership.

He received his master’s degree in business management from Webster University and bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University.

Todd Schnuck is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schnuck Markets, Inc.  Prior to his current position, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer (2006-2014), as Corporate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (1988-2006) and treasurer (1987-1988).  He began his business career in the Investment Banking division at A.G. Edwards & Sons prior to joining Schnuck Markets, Inc., his family’s company, in January of 1987.

In addition to his current role, he serves on several boards, including:  Commerce Bancshares, Inc.; Food Marketing Institute; Donald Danforth Plant Science Center; Civic Progress; United Way; Fair St. Louis Foundation; Urban League; and University of Virginia.

Surviving the Work Tsunami Disaster

On January 5, 2015, in Career Insight, by Walker News

“What do you mean, I don’t have a job? I’ve been with the company for years.”

It’s at this time you really feel like the tsunami wave just hit you. All of a sudden you are looking for a way to catch your breath and start figuring out a way to swim to dry land! You are looking for a way to stand on something that won’t slip out from under your feet! Here are a few questions you need answers to and fast!

  • How long will I have to find a job until my funds run out? What’s the average amount of time it takes for an individual to find a job?
  • What’s my cost to use COBRA insurance and how long can I use this insurance? Can I afford it?
  • Where do I go to find a job fast! Where are the openings?
  • What am I qualified to do? Most importantly, where is the last resume I drafted?

Immediately move Into CAREER RECOVERY!

Here are five steps that you can take to recover from your career tsunami disaster:

1.) Grieve your loss – It is natural to have a wave of feelings such as anger, depression or even stress.  At this time the question “Why” is the question that keep snagging you for an answer. “Why me?” The key question that will move you on to a new career is, “What are the next steps I need to take with the facts I currently know are true?” It’s refocusing your mind to look forward and not looking back on “woulda, coulda, shoulda.“ The faster you can shift, the better off you will be. Identify your feelings and grieve your loss. It’s healthy!

2.) Inventory & gather facts – Take a close look at your career path.  Look at each career step you made and find the common denominator.  Find the clues in your past employment cycle and identify what works for you. Too many individuals look at education as a method for finding direction into what career they should pursue. They should look first at their previous career. Past success patterns can help you identify the right career fit and whether or not you need additional schooling or training.  If you don’t find your success patterns, you could fall into the trap of becoming a “Professional Student.”

3.) Position yourself as a valuable contributor – I often ask jobseekers what career target they are marketing themselves for.  I hear things like, “Well I could do this or I have some interest in that or I could also do this job because I have some training in this other area…” I recently talked with someone that had several degrees. She was educated but lacked a marketing focus. As she continued to talk, I quickly realized that one reason why she couldn’t find career success was because she was playing the role of a beggar rather than a valuable contributor.

4.) Seek advisors – If you are having trouble moving on  from asking “Why” to “What do I do next,” than you might need a counselor to help you work through the steps of grieving.  It has nothing to do with being smart enough.  It has everything to do with getting to a solution, with the least time, money and heartache.

When buying a house we seek out a realtor.  Why?  Because they are the experts in their field.  They have eyes that see things the average person cannot see.  They save us a lot of time, energy and money by helping us find the right choice or house to fit us perfectly.

If you are stuck, stalled or confused about what to do next in your career, consider one career session that will get to the root cause of your career pain… Visit www.activ8careers.com or call 314-966-3888.  In one meeting we will find out what works for you, what needs attention and what next steps you need to take in order to reach your career objective.

5.) Develop a measurable strategy – If you set a goal to save money for holiday spending, than you have to map out a plan. When it comes to saving money we adjust our budgets and then periodically revisit the process to make sure we reach our desired outcome.  If we find that we didn’t follow the strategic plan, we then have two choices. Identify where the process fell apart, learn from the experience or ditch the plan and just let life’s circumstances take over, which most likely will not give us the results we set out to accomplish. .

It is so important that you measure the progress of your career plan when seeking employment. If you are not sure about what specific career you want, then take the time to define and know your target.  You can’t hit the target if you keep moving it.

 

About the Author: david hults-2014
David Hults is a nationally known career coach and speaker, as well as a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Webster University where he also completed graduate courses toward his MBA.  Since 1987, Hults is the author of five books, a CD coaching series and has created the most sought after interview flash card set, which makes the interview simplified and painless.  His experience in human resources led him to work for Express Scripts, a Fortune 500 company, as well as one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, BJC.  He has been coaching individuals for more than 20 years on how to break through individual roadblocks while also delivering speeches across the nation discussing how to manage change in careers and organizations today. For more information, visit his website at http://activ8careers.com

 

 

 

seminarpicFrom cybersecurity to networking, social media, nonprofit management, global entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and more, this spring the Walker School is offering an accelerated professional development seminar series.  Each course is structured to provide participants with fresh perspective and relevant insight that informs their leadership journey.

The seminars are open to undergraduate and graduate students as individual, one-credit hour courses. Community members and Webster University Alumni may also register for non-academic credit for a reduced per seminar.  Some seminars will be available for virtual participation to students around the world through a WebEx connection.

All seminars will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST at Webster University’s East Academic Building, 545 Garden Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63119. View the seminar schedule and learn more.

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NEW GRADUATE CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE SPRING 2015

On December 22, 2014, in Announcements, by Walker News

The Walker School is pleased to announce 2 new Graduate Certificates available to graduate students worldwide in Spring 2015:

Certificate in Project Management: Delivering complex projects on time and under budget is a daily challenge for most organizations. Many now use project-based methods to accomplish such tasks, resulting in a high demand for project managers. The Certificate in Project Management  is designed to provide a thorough examination of the different aspects of project management including project selection, organization structure, initialization, planning, control and termination.

Introduction to Project Management is available worldwide in Spring 1 as BUSN 5680 Issues in Business: Project Management. Students can register today to begin certificate requirements.

Certificate in Global Business: This certificate is designed to develop a new generation of globally-oriented leaders who can design viable business strategies and make business strategy that can contribute to the socio-economic development needs of emerging economies.  Students gain an opportunity to further explore and understand the global marketplace through coursework and a one week international travel experience.  More information including course schedules and requirements can be found online HERE.

 

patrick-rishe2014Dr. Patrick Rishe, Economics Professor at Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business, earned his fifth publication of 2014 for the paper, “Secondary Market Behavior during College Football’s Postseason: Evidence from the 2014 Rose Bowl and BCS Championship Game”.  The paper was co-authored with Dr. Brett Boyle of Saint Louis University and Dr. Jason Reese of Stephen F. Austin University. Their paper will appear in the International Journal of Sport Finance. Earlier works by Rishe in 2014 appeared in Sport Marketing Quarterly and the International Journal of Sport and Society.

In addition to these publication successes, Dr. Rishe’s consulting firm, Sportsimpacts, is currently engaged in Economic Impact Studies for the City of Williamsburg VA, the 2014 Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, and the 2015 Michigan Boys and Girls State Basketball Championships.  

A recognized expert in the field of sports economics, Rishe continued his recent string of high-profile media engagements with an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on November 20.  The discussion centered around recent debate regarding the merits of widespread legalization of sports betting.

Join us in congratulating Professor Rishe on these accomplishments by tweeting him@DrPatSportsBiz.

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bjccohortsmallWebster University and BJC Healthcare hosted a recognition luncheon in honor of the first Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) cohort graduates on Monday, December 15, 2014 at the BJC Learning Institute.  This group of students began their program in January of 2012 meeting once a week at the Institute.

At the recognition luncheon, 17 graduates were honored. Russell Hoffmann III, Ph.D., Executive Director of Learning and Organizational Effectiveness for BJC HealthCare, welcomed the graduates and guests, congratulating them on a significant accomplishment.

Benjamin Ola Akande PhD., Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology and Webster University’s Chief of Corporate Partnerships, presented the keynote speech. Dean Akande challenged everyone, “As you look ahead, may you be bold enough to clear your own pathway and may you muster the courage to find your arch.”

The Webster University MHA program is designed to help develop management and leadership skills while advancing an understanding of the health care delivery system. Students study topics in such areas as health administration law, health care financial management, human resources management and statistics. The cohort format has enabled BJC employees from across the organization to learn and share in a classroom setting.

Webster University offers MHA, MBA, MSN and RN-BSN cohort opportunities plus preferred tuition rates at BJC Healthcare through the Office of Corporate Partnerships. More information on how to apply can be found online here.

The Center for Lifelong Learning at BJC partners with local universities to offer 14 degree programs including the MHA, MBA, MSN and RN-BSN with Webster University. More information can be found online here.  

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